Aka Back in the Computer Chair Again
|Western Saddle by ScotSXC|
Summer vacations are over (I say as look out on the Gulf of Mexico from a south Florida beach), the kids have gone back to school, and it’s time to get back to that unfinished book (not to imply that summertime activities aren’t work — they’re just different work).
Okay, maybe your summer didn’t go quite that way. Still, the season’s changed routine often plays havoc with a writer’s schedule — especially if that writer has children at home or grandchildren who come to visit, to say nothing of also holding down a part-time or fulltime job. For those of us who exchanged the rigors of daily writing for fun in the sun (or some variation thereof), we may find our neglected manuscripts crying out for attention. So this isn’t a complaint about disrupted writing times, but rather a discussion of how to get back in the groove.
One of the best places to start is a total reread of the manuscript. It’s amazing how many details of our own stories we forget when we’ve been AWOL for even a short time. We will likely find a surprising number of errors and shortcomings to fix that will pull us back into the writing mode and spearhead a surge of enthusiasm for our project. Unfortunately, this will not come without pitfalls. Life gets in the way. Kids need a ride to soccer practice. Preschoolers catch chickenpox from older siblings. Extracurricular activities require transportation to and from, and the list goes on.
Another good way to return to the zone involves reading someone else’s book. For me, that’s a surefire kick in the writing backside. All I have to do is start the first chapter of a favorite author’s book, and my fingers itch to get back on the keyboard and pound out my own story.
Yet a third method invokes both sight and sound, as in a great movie like Letters to Juliet. (Yes, I’m a pushover for a sweet love story, especially when it involves those of us on the downside of middle age.)
What inspires you to knuckle down when you’ve been out of the groove for a while? Do you have a little trick or two that put you back on track? If so, please share it with us.
Linda Lane writes, edits, and mentors writers who want to learn to write effectively and well. Visit her and her editing team at DenverEditor.com